Home » Craps Strategy and Tips (2023)

Craps Strategy and Tips (2023)

In the world of casino gaming, few games are as exhilarating and fast-paced as craps. The sound of rolling dice, the cheers of players, and the anticipation of each roll create an electrifying atmosphere that draws both beginners and seasoned gamblers alike. Craps, often referred to as the “Roller’s Game,” is a captivating blend of chance, strategy, and sheer excitement.

Whether you’re stepping onto the casino floor for the first time or you’ve tried your luck at the craps table before, understanding the game’s intricacies and having a solid strategy can make all the difference between a thrilling win and a disappointing loss. That’s why, in this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the fascinating world of craps strategy and provide you with invaluable tips and insights to enhance your gameplay.

Craps is a game that has stood the test of time, dating back to the early 19th century. It has evolved over the years, adapting to changing preferences and technologies, yet its core essence remains the same – a game of chance and skill that keeps players on the edge of their seats. In this guide, we’ll not only explore the fundamental rules of craps but also delve into a variety of strategies, both basic and advanced, to help you navigate the complexities of this iconic casino game.

So, whether you’re a curious novice intrigued by the allure of craps or an experienced player seeking to fine-tune your approach, join us on this journey as we uncover the secrets of success at the craps table. Get ready to roll the dice, make calculated bets, and discover how to master the art of craps in 2023 and beyond.

dynamic photo capturing the excitement around a craps table in a casino

Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into strategies and tips, it’s crucial to have a firm grasp of the basic rules and terminology of craps. If you’re new to the game, here’s a brief overview:

How Craps Works

Certainly, let’s delve deeper into understanding the basics of craps, as a strong foundation in the game’s fundamentals is essential for successful play.

The Come-Out Roll

The game of craps begins with what is known as the “come-out roll.” During this initial roll of the dice, one of three outcomes can occur:

Natural: If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll, it’s considered a “natural,” and Pass Line bets win. The shooter retains the dice and continues to roll.

Craps: If the come-out roll results in a 2, 3, or 12, it’s known as “craps.” In this case, Pass Line bets lose, and the shooter’s turn ends. The dice pass to the next player in a clockwise rotation.

Point: If the come-out roll yields a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the shooter establishes a “point.” A small “on” puck is placed on the corresponding number on the craps table layout, indicating the point. The shooter continues to roll until they either roll the point number again (a win for Pass Line bets) or roll a 7 (a loss for Pass Line bets).

Pass Line Bet

The Pass Line bet is one of the most common and straightforward bets in craps. It’s placed before the come-out roll, and its outcomes are based on the results of that roll:

Winning Pass Line Bet: If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll, Pass Line bets win even money (1:1). If the shooter establishes a point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) on the come-out roll and subsequently rolls that point before a 7, Pass Line bets also win.

Losing Pass Line Bet: Pass Line bets lose if the come-out roll results in a 2, 3, or 12 (craps) or if a 7 is rolled before the established point.

Don't Pass Line Bet

The Don’t Pass Line bet is essentially betting against the shooter:

Winning Don’t Pass Line Bet: If the come-out roll results in a 2 or 3, Don’t Pass Line bets win even money (1:1). If a 12 is rolled, it’s typically a push (a tie). If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll, Don’t Pass Line bets lose.

Establishing a Point: If the come-out roll produces a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, it establishes a point, and Don’t Pass Line bettors are hoping for a 7 to be rolled before the point number is rolled again.

The Shooter

In a live craps game, the player responsible for rolling the dice is known as the “shooter.” The shooter changes with each new round, rotating clockwise around the table. The shooter’s goal is to win by rolling either a natural (7 or 11) on the come-out roll or by hitting the point number before rolling a 7.

The Craps Table Layout

A standard craps table features a complex layout with various betting areas, each designated for different types of bets. Understanding the table layout is essential for placing bets accurately and following the game’s progress.

Pass and Don't Pass Odds Bets

Once a point is established, players have the option to make additional bets called “Odds bets” behind their original Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line bets. These bets pay true odds and have no house edge, making them advantageous for players. The amount that can be bet on Odds varies depending on the casino’s rules.

Come and Don't Come Bets

Come and Don’t Come bets are similar to Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line bets but can be placed after the point is established. They work in much the same way, with the goal of predicting whether the shooter will win or lose.

By thoroughly understanding these basics, you’ll be well-equipped to participate in a craps game with confidence. As you gain experience, you can explore various bets and strategies to enhance your gameplay and potentially increase your chances of success at the craps table. Remember that craps is not only a game of skill but also a game of chance, so enjoy the excitement and camaraderie it offers while practicing responsible gambling.

craps table overhead shoot

Craps Betting Strategies

Craps offers a plethora of betting options, each with its own set of odds and potential payoffs. To navigate this complex landscape effectively, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of various betting strategies. Here, we’ll explore some of the most popular and effective craps betting strategies:

The Pass Line and Don't Pass Line Strategy

These are the fundamental bets in craps and serve as a cornerstone for many players’ strategies:

Pass Line Strategy: Ideal for beginners, this strategy involves betting on the Pass Line during the come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, your Pass Line bet wins. However, if it’s a 2, 3, or 12, you lose. Once a point is established, your objective is to continue betting on the Pass Line, hoping that the shooter rolls the point before a 7.

Don’t Pass Line Strategy: In contrast, this strategy is all about betting against the shooter during the come-out roll. You win if the roll results in a 2 or 3, but lose if it’s 7 or 11. Rolling a 12 leads to a push (a tie), while any other number becomes the point. For Don’t Pass Line bets, you’re hoping for a 7 before the point number reappears.

The Come and Don't Come Bets

These bets provide a way to get involved in the action after the point is established:

Come Bet Strategy: Once the point is set, consider placing a Come bet. You win if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 and lose if it’s 2, 3, or 12. Any other number becomes your new point, and you aim for that number to appear before a 7.

Don’t Come Bet Strategy: This mirrors the Come bet but takes the opposite stance. After the point is established, place a Don’t Come bet. You win if a 2 or 3 is rolled, lose if it’s 7 or 11, and push on 12. Your goal is to see a 7 before the point number resurfaces.

The Odds Bet

One of the best bets in the casino, the Odds bet, can be made in conjunction with Pass Line, Don’t Pass Line, Come, or Don’t Come bets:

Odds Bet Strategy: Once a point is established, consider placing an Odds bet by adding chips behind your original bet. The allowable bet amount varies by casino rules. The beauty of the Odds bet is that it pays true odds, meaning it aligns with the actual probabilities of the point number emerging before a 7. Maximize your Odds bets to reduce the overall house edge on your wagers.

The Field Bet

The Field bet is straightforward and is often used by players looking for a quick win:

Field Bet Strategy: In this bet, you’re wagering that the next roll will result in a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. You win if any of these numbers come up. However, beware of the 5 and 8; they typically pay even money instead of the higher payouts offered by other numbers. The Field bet is ideal for single rolls and can add excitement to your craps experience.

The Place Bet

The Place bet involves selecting specific numbers and betting that they will appear before a 7:

Place Bet Strategy: Choose a number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and place your chips in the corresponding box on the craps table layout. If your chosen number is rolled before a 7, you win. The payouts vary based on the selected number; 6 and 8 typically have lower payouts, while 4 and 10 offer higher returns.

These are just a few of the many betting strategies you can employ in craps. Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice often comes down to personal preference and risk tolerance. Remember that while strategies can enhance your gameplay, craps remain a game of chance, and no strategy can guarantee consistent wins. However, by understanding the various betting options and their associated strategies, you can make more informed decisions and enjoy the excitement of craps to the fullest.

In addition to the fundamental strategies mentioned earlier, there are several more advanced and specialized craps betting strategies that can be employed to suit different playing styles and objectives. Let’s explore these strategies in more detail.

The Big 6 and Big 8 Bet

This is a simple yet popular strategy that involves betting on the outcome of a 6 or 8 being rolled before a 7:

Big 6 and Big 8 Bet Strategy: Place your chips on the “Big 6” or “Big 8” area of the craps table. If the chosen number (6 or 8) comes up before a 7, you win. This bet is straightforward, but keep in mind that the payouts are usually even money, making it a lower-risk, lower-reward option.

The Hardways Bet

The Hardways bet is a wager that a specific number will be rolled as a “double” (e.g., 2-2, 3-3) before it appears as a “soft” or non-double (e.g., 2-1, 3-2). This bet can offer higher payouts:

Hardways Bet Strategy: You can place Hardways bets on 4, 6, 8, or 10. If, for instance, you bet on “Hard 8,” you’re betting that the shooter will roll two 4s (2-2) before rolling a 4 through any other combination. While Hardways bets have higher payouts, they also have a higher house edge.

The Place to Lose Bet

This strategy involves betting that a 7 will be rolled before a specific number:

Place to Lose Bet Strategy: Choose a number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and bet that a 7 will be rolled before that number. If a 7 appears before your chosen number, you win. Place to Lose bets offer better odds than betting against a 7, making them a strategic choice for some players.

The Lay Bet

Similar to Place to Lose bets, Lay bets involve wagering against specific numbers. You’re essentially betting that a 7 will come up before the chosen number:

Lay Bet Strategy: Select a number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and bet that a 7 will be rolled before that number. If a 7 appears before your chosen number, you win. Lay bets can provide favorable odds but require you to pay a commission to the casino, typically a percentage of your potential winnings.

The Hedge Bet

Hedge bets involve placing bets on multiple outcomes to minimize losses:

Hedge Bet Strategy: Suppose you have a Pass Line bet, and a point is established. You can then place a bet on the Don’t Pass Line. This strategy hedges your initial bet, ensuring you win on one of the bets if the shooter rolls the point or a 7. However, keep in mind that you’ll also lose one of the bets, limiting potential profits.

The Martingale System

The Martingale is a betting system that involves doubling your bet after each loss, with the aim of recovering your losses when you eventually win:

Martingale System Strategy: Start with a small bet on an even-money bet like the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line. If you lose, double your bet on the next roll. Continue doubling your bet until you win, at which point you return to your initial bet size. While this strategy can be profitable in the short term, it carries a high risk of significant losses during losing streaks.

Remember that no betting strategy can alter the fundamental odds of the game. Craps remains a game of chance, and it’s essential to approach these strategies with caution, understanding the associated risks and rewards. The key to success in craps lies not only in choosing the right strategy but also in managing your bankroll wisely, staying disciplined, and enjoying the thrilling and unpredictable nature of the game.

The Buy Bet

The Buy bet allows you to wager on a specific number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) as if it were a Place bet but with better odds:

Buy Bet Strategy: You can place Buy bets on the same numbers you’d place Place bets on. However, with a Buy bet, you pay a commission (often a 5% vig) upfront, but the payout is based on the true odds of the number hitting before a 7. Buy bets can be advantageous if you believe a particular number will come up frequently.

The Lay Odds Bet

This bet complements a Don’t Pass Line or Don’t Come bet by allowing you to wager additional money on the likelihood of a 7 coming up before the point number:

Lay Odds Bet Strategy: After establishing a Don’t Pass Line or Don’t Come bet, you can place a Lay Odds bet to bet that a 7 will be rolled before the point number. Like Odds bets on the Pass Line or Come bets, Lay Odds bets pay true odds and have no house edge.

hand placing the chips on craps table in a casino

The Place to Win Bet

The Place to Win bet is the opposite of a Place to Lose bet and involves wagering that a specific number will come up before a 7:

Place to Win Bet Strategy: Choose a number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and bet that it will be rolled before a 7. If your chosen number appears, you win. Place to Win bets offer lower payouts than Place bets but provide more favorable odds compared to straight Place bets.

The Regression Betting System

This strategy involves reducing your bets after a win to minimize losses during losing streaks:

Regression Betting System Strategy: Begin with a Pass Line bet and place a Come bet after the point is established. If both bets win, reduce your bets back to their original amounts. However, if one of them loses, consider decreasing your bets on the next roll to protect your winnings and mitigate potential losses.

The Don't Pass and Lay Strategy

The Don’t Pass and Lay strategy is a combination of bets that capitalizes on the Don’t Pass Line’s advantage:

Don’t Pass and Lay Strategy: Start with a Don’t Pass Line bet. After the point is established, make Lay bets on the 4 and 10, as these numbers have higher probabilities of rolling than the 7. The goal is to capitalize on the advantage of betting against the shooter.

The Controlled Throw Strategy (Dice Control)

While not a betting strategy per se, some craps players believe in the concept of dice control. They practice controlling their throw to influence the outcome of the dice:

Controlled Throw Strategy: Controlled throw techniques involve precise dice grips and throws to minimize randomness and increase the chances of specific outcomes. This strategy is highly debated, with some players claiming success while others remain skeptical. If you’re interested in dice control, it’s essential to practice and develop your skills.

Keep in mind that no craps betting strategy guarantees consistent wins. The outcome of each roll is still primarily determined by chance. The effectiveness of these strategies often depends on your risk tolerance, bankroll size, and personal preferences. It’s crucial to use these strategies wisely, manage your bankroll, and be prepared for the inherent volatility and unpredictability of the game. Ultimately, craps is a game of excitement and chance, and the best strategy may be to enjoy the experience responsibly.

people throwing dice on craps table


Craps is a captivating and dynamic casino game that blends chance, strategy, and sheer excitement like no other. As we conclude this comprehensive guide to craps strategy and tips in 2023, let’s recap the key takeaways that will help you maximize your enjoyment and potential success at the craps table.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that craps is fundamentally a game of chance. While employing various betting strategies can enhance your odds and provide structure to your gameplay, no strategy can guarantee consistent wins. Be prepared for the exhilarating unpredictability that makes craps such a thrilling game.

Here’s a summary of the key points covered in this guide:

Betting Strategies: Craps offers a wide array of betting options, ranging from basic bets like the Pass Line to more advanced strategies like the Hardways bet or Hedge bet. Each strategy has its own set of odds, risks, and potential rewards. Choose a strategy that aligns with your playing style, risk tolerance, and objectives.

Bankroll Management: Managing your bankroll wisely is paramount in craps. Set a budget for your gaming session and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses, and know when to walk away, whether you’re ahead or behind.

Understanding the Odds: Familiarize yourself with the odds and payouts associated with different bets. Knowledge of the game’s probabilities will help you make informed decisions when placing your bets.

Discipline and Patience: Craps can be streaky, with periods of both wins and losses. Practice patience during cold streaks and avoid letting emotions dictate your betting decisions. Stick to your chosen strategy and maintain discipline throughout your gaming session.

Etiquette: Respect the customs and etiquette of the craps table. Be courteous to the dealer and fellow players. Craps is a social game, and a friendly atmosphere enhances the overall experience.

Practice: Consider practicing craps online or in a low-stakes setting to familiarize yourself with the game and various strategies. This can boost your confidence before playing in a live casino.

Enjoy the Game: Absolutely, enjoying the game is a fundamental aspect of playing craps or any casino game. Here are some insights into how to enhance your enjoyment while playing craps:

Embrace the Social Aspect

Craps is often considered one of the most social casino games. It’s typically played at a large table with many players, and there’s a sense of camaraderie among participants. Engage with your fellow players, share the excitement of each roll, and celebrate wins together. The social aspect of craps can make the game more enjoyable and memorable.

Stay Positive and Relaxed

Maintain a positive attitude and a relaxed demeanor when playing craps. The game can be fast-paced and filled with ups and downs, so it’s essential to keep a positive mindset. Don’t let losses affect your mood, and savor the thrill of every roll, win or lose.

Respect the Etiquette

Craps has its own set of unwritten rules and etiquette, and respecting them contributes to a harmonious gaming environment. Be courteous to the dealer and fellow players, follow the established customs of the game, and wait your turn patiently. Avoid disruptive behavior or distractions that can disrupt the flow of the game.

Celebrate Wins Responsibly

When you win at craps, it’s natural to feel a rush of excitement. However, it’s essential to celebrate responsibly. Avoid excessive celebrations or gloating, as this can be off-putting to other players. Instead, express your joy in a way that respects the atmosphere at the table.

Enjoy the Spectacle

Craps tables are often lively and bustling with activity. Take in the sights and sounds of the casino floor, appreciate the energy of the players and the staff, and relish the overall spectacle. Craps is not just a game; it’s an experience.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

One of the keys to enjoying craps is responsible gambling. Set a budget for your gaming session and stick to it. Determine the amount of money you’re comfortable with losing, and don’t exceed that limit. Responsible gambling ensures that you can enjoy the game without the stress of potential financial strain.

Know When to Walk Away

Finally, knowing when to walk away is essential for maintaining enjoyment. Whether you’re on a winning streak or facing losses, set a predetermined point at which you’ll cash out and leave the table. This disciplined approach helps you avoid chasing losses or getting carried away by a winning streak.

In conclusion, craps is not just a casino game; it’s an immersive and social experience that can be incredibly enjoyable when approached with the right mindset. Embrace the excitement, savor the camaraderie, and remember that the ultimate goal is to have fun while playing responsibly. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, craps offers a unique and thrilling gaming experience that’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest.

So, with a clear understanding of the game’s fundamentals, a well-thought-out strategy, and responsible bankroll management, roll the dice with confidence and immerse yourself in the captivating world of craps. May the odds be in your favor, and may your craps experience in 2023 be filled with excitement, entertainment, and memorable moments at the casino.

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